Why this $13 kitchen tool is one of my favorite purchases this year

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I’m by no means a prolific chef, but like many people, my culinary pursuits infinitely expanded during the pandemic — more as a way to pass time than solely a way to subsist. And now I think of whipping up new recipes in my tiny apartment kitchen as an actual hobby. But there’s one thing I quickly learned as a burgeoning home cook: Most recipes call for garlic, and I absolutely hate chopping garlic.

While initially I painstakingly chopped up garlic with a knife (hello, garlic fingers), I eventually resorted to buying jarred minced garlic. That is, until I came across the Chef’n Garliczoom this past fall, and I’m still passionate about it months later.

This tiny kitchen gadget makes mincing garlic a cinch. Simply toss in a few whole cloves, then roll the device along the kitchen counter for a customized chop — less rolling results in a coarser chop, while more means a finer mince.

I’m the first to admit my knife skills are subpar, and garlic cloves are so small already that I really struggled to mince them evenly (and safely) by hand. As a result, I became accustomed to coming across unsavory chunks of garlic in the dishes I was preparing and sometimes the occasional finger cut. The practice just wasn’t sustainable.

And if you’ve ever used jarred minced garlic, you know it’s, well, not good. The premade stuff just isn’t as flavorful as the real thing, so you end up using a lot of it. Even then, it doesn’t taste quite right.

Finally I figured there had to be a better way. Since my line of work involves seeking out and reviewing products, I’m always perusing the internet for a life-changing gadget. In this case, I think I simply pulled up amazon.com and typed “garlic chopper” into the search bar.

The Chef’n Garliczoom was one of the first results, and it stood out because it really doesn’t look like other choppers. And hey, does it have wheels? I was intrigued. At just $13, I didn’t think twice about adding it to my cart.

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The Chef’n Garliczoom is incredibly easy to use: Pop a few garlic cloves into the round chamber, then roll the green wheels along your countertop to chop. More rolling means a finer mince, while less results in a coarser chop.

When it’s time to clean up, the blades in the Chef’n Garliczoom are easily removed from the chamber — I usually just toss both pieces in my dishwasher. And in terms of storage, this device is ultra compact, so you don’t have to worry about adding another bulky tool to your kitchen arsenal.

I find myself whipping out the Chef’n Garliczoom a few times a week now, and I haven’t bought another jar of minced garlic since purchasing it. My fingers never smell garlicky (and they’re safe from my sloppy chopping skills), and my food tastes awesome — if I do say so myself.